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To The Point News arrow Guest Authors arrow Free Articles arrow LOOK WHAT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION DID FOR ROME
Written by Jim Warner   
Thursday, 24 May 2007

Many believe that illegal immigration is reaching such levels that it threatens our national security, and perhaps even our national survival.  Others believe that we should give legal status to those who already illegally in our country. 

We have already done this once, in 1986, and the result was that millions more, seeing that there was hope for eventual legal status, came here illegally, hoping for amnesty.  We now have two and one half times more illegals in the country than we did in 1986. 

If we continue to do this eventually we will reach a point, if we haven't already, where there are so many aliens in the country that they will not adopt our culture, they will not learn our customs, and they will never become Americans. 

It has happened before.  Just ask the Romans.

Around the middle of 4th century AD, conditions outside the boundaries of the Roman Empire began to develop which caused increasing numbers of people who were not subjects of Rome to desire entry into the Empire. 

In 376, a tribe called the Visigoths living in Dacia (modern-day Romania) petitioned for permission to move south of the Danube River and settle in the Empire. 

Just as there are many here who believe that both sides benefit from the employment of the illegal immigrants, there were actually those in Rome who thought there was some benefit to allowing the barbarians to come in. 

No one took account of the law of unexpected consequences.  Despite their agreement to do so,  the Visigoths did not disarm.  Because they were armed and the Roman legions were away at the frontiers trying to keep out more barbarians, the Visigoths found they were free to begin looting and plundering. 

The Visigoths were not alone.  Other barbarians, learning of the happy times the Visigoths were having, decided that they, too, would like to participate.  The hordes continued to trickle in.  Finally, in 407, the Rhine River froze over and thousands of Germanic tribesmen crossed the ice and poured into Gaul. 

This drew so many legions away from the defense of Rome that Alaric (370-410), the Visigoth King, was able to sack the Eternal City itself.

This disaster prompted the legions to withdraw from Roman Britain , never to return.  Britain, without the forces of law and order, descended into chaos.  France and Spain, after a period of turmoil, became Germanic kingdoms only nominally allied with Rome.

The barbarians entered the Roman Empire in order to seek better lives.  The Romans thought their economy would benefit from having the Visigoths settle on farms.  Aren't we being told that our illegals are doing jobs that Americans won't do and that our economy would suffer without low-cost labor?

The Romans changed their laws to give the Visigoths legal status.  Once the Visigoths had legal status, Ostrogoths, Alans, Burgundians, and Suevi wanted to enter the Empire and gain legal status also. 

Compare this with amnesty granted to illegals by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. 

Immediately after passage of IRCA, approximately 2.7 million illegal immigrants received green cards.  Over the next 11 years another 1.3 million illegal immigrants were given green cards. 

An unintended consequence of IRCA was the fact that by the end of 1996 there were already another 5 million illegal immigrants here.  They included many relatives of the of the 4 million who had been granted amnesty.

It is estimated that there are between 12 and 20 million illegal aliens in the United States.  Under proposals being considered by Congress, almost all of these will be given the opportunity to gain legal status and eventual citizenship. 

According to the Heritage Foundation, over the next 20 years perhaps as many as 50 million immigrants could gain legal status.  These immigrants too will have relatives who will want to come to the United States and, just as before, many of these will come illegally. 

Thus, if these proposals are enacted into law, we can expect an unimaginable influx of illegal aliens.  What effect will this have on the laws, the culture and the political structure of the United States?

The influx of the Germanic tribes after 408 overwhelmed Roman law, smothered Roman culture, and caused the legions, for the most part, to be withdrawn to Italy. 

We are already at a point where there are so many illegal aliens in the United States that many feel no need to learn English or otherwise assimilate.  However, if they are given legal status, they will become voters.  In fact, some believe that a number of illegal aliens already vote in US elections. 

What will happen if so large a group of unassimilated alien voters remains within our borders? 

One hint as to what it might be like can be seen in France where there are housing developments into which law enforcement rarely, if ever, ventures.  That is to say, there are parts of France which are no longer governed by French law.  Is this our future?

We are at a crisis point.  Either effective action has to be taken now or we face disaster.  Rational people recognize that the first step is to gain control of our borders.  Next we must do something about the 10 to 12 million illegal aliens who are in the country. 

Immigration advocates point out it would be logistically impossible to deport this many aliens.  However, these people are here to work.  If existing laws against the employment of illegal aliens were enforced, the magnet of employment would disappear.  Without the prospect of work many or most of the illegals would deport themselves.

The presence of millions of people who have no regard for our culture, who speak little English, and whose loyalties lie elsewhere is not a recipe for a healthy country.  The prospect of taking action to legalize millions of immigrants and attract tens of millions more illegal aliens is a recipe for national suicide. 

If that seems far fetched, remember, the Romans thought it was safe to legalize hordes of immigrants.  Look what it did for Rome. 

James H. Warner is a retired attorney,  He served in the White House as a domestic policy advisor to President Ronald Reagan.


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